Intestinal Ca and phosphate transport: differential responses to vitamin D3 metabolites

Am J Physiol. 1977 Dec;233(6):E488-94. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1977.233.6.E488.


The transport of Ca and inorganic phosphate (Pi) was studied in the absence of electrochemical gradients across rat intestine in vitro. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) increased the active absorption of both Ca and Pi in all segments of the small intestine, with changes occurring only in absorptive fluxes, whereas secretory fluxes were unaffected. Active Ca absorption was greatest in the duodenum (greater than jejunum greater than ileum) and active Pi absorption was highest in jejunum (greater than duodenum greater than ileum), in agreement with earlier reports. 24R,25-dihydroxy-vitamin2D3 had similar effects on transport but was less potent. The ratios of Pi absorptive fluxes to Ca absorptive fluxes remained remarkably constant during 80-200% increases in absorption produced by 1,25(OH)2D3, suggesting coupled Ca-Pi transport or coordinate stimulation of Ca and Pi absorptive processes by hormonally active metabolites of vitamin D. The results seem most compatible with a differential distribution of vitamin D-responsive Ca and Pi absorptive cells with a predominance of cells with Ca absorptive sites occurring in duodenum, more Pi absorbing cells in jejunum, and a nearly equal ratio of each type in ileum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active / drug effects
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols / pharmacology*
  • Duodenum / metabolism
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / pharmacology*
  • Ileum / metabolism
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects*
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Jejunum / metabolism
  • Male
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism


  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols
  • Phosphates
  • Calcium